NEW: Spanberger Survey Finds Virginians Overwhelmingly Oppose Stock Trading by Lawmakers’ Spouses

Of More Than 2,800 Submissions Received, 93 Percent Support the Inclusion of Spouses in a Ban on Stock Trading by Members of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced the initial results of her survey asking Virginians if they believe that a ban on individual stock trading by Members of Congress must also apply to their spouses.

In nearly two weeks since launching the survey, Spanberger’s office has received more than 2,800 responses. Of those submissions, 93 percent support the inclusion of spouses in a ban on individual stock trading by U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives.

“The American people deserve to know that their lawmakers are keeping them top-of-mind when receiving briefings, shaping legislation, and casting votes. We can remove the possibility, and even the mere perception, that Members of Congress are putting our own financial interests first by prohibiting lawmakers from buying, selling, or trading individual stocks while serving in Congress,” said Spanberger. “But that does not go far enough — and it is clear that thousands of Virginians agree. In working to rid the halls of the U.S. Capitol of impropriety and show the public that we are deserving of their trust, I am determined to pass legislation that is not ridden with loopholes and work-arounds. My TRUST in Congress Act extends a ban on individual stock trading to cover Members, their spouses, and their dependent children to show the American people that our priorities are in order.”

Earlier this year, Spanberger launched a similar survey asking Virginians if they believe Members of Congress should be allowed to personally buy, trade, or sell individual stocks while serving in Congress. Of the more than 3,400 responses received from Virginians, 93 percent opposed allowing lawmakers to trade individual stocks while serving in the U.S. Congress.

In January 2021, the Congresswoman reintroduced her Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act, bipartisan legislation to increase transparency and reduce opportunities for insider trading by requiring that Members of Congress — as well as their spouses and dependent children — put certain investment assets into a qualified blind trust during their entire tenure in Congress. The bill now has more than 50 cosponsors — the most of any effort to ban individual stock trading by Members of Congress and their spouses. A companion bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) last month.

Some of the 2,830 responses by Virginians submitted through the survey include:

“It’s time to restore faith in our nations elected officials, and this is a good place to start. Officials are to serve the public and not profit from their service. Applying to spouse only makes sense.” — Jeff, Louisa

“If just members of Congress are banned, that doesn’t stop them from passing that info on to their spouses.” — Noel, Spotsylvania

“It seems reasonable to assume that spouses communicate with one another and could therefore share insider information. It’s a good place to start to try to restore some trust in public officials, most of whom are honest, work hard, and are well-meaning.” — Jamie, Henrico

“Allowing spouses to trade individual stock is too easy a way around a ban for legislators” — Andrew, Culpeper

“Spouses are part of the same financial unit. Thanks for championing this issue.” — Steven, Orange

“A spouse should not serve as a proxy or loophole for a member of Congress with privileged information.” — Jay, Henrico

“Feels like insider trading to me if the member of congress or their spouse is allowed to trade stock.  Thank you for your stand on this.” — Debbie, Louisa

“We need to get rid of all types of corruption… this is one easy one to fix. Thanks Rep. Spanberger!” — Thomas, Goochland

“Evidence has proven over and over again that many lawmakers seek office to abuse their power and for personal gain. When I entered the government as a lowly GS-07, my spouse and I had to eliminate any investments that showed the slightest indication of conflict of interest. Our elected officials should be held to the same standards. I appreciate Rep. Spanberger’s and other’s efforts to establish laws that address political corruption.” — Tina, Spotsylvania

“Too many instances of lawmakers trading stocks based on inside information. Allowing spouses to continue to trade stocks would be a loophole big enough to drive a truck through.” — Ken, Powhatan

Spanberger originally introduced the TRUST in Congress Act in June 2020. Click here for full bill text.


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